CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Sophomore Scott Rosenthal of Clearfield grabbed the spotlight in the still rings again for No. 3-ranked Penn State with a career-best 15.900 performance in the decisive event as the Nittany Lions remained undefeated by knocking off No. 2 Illinois 352.100-351.000 in Huff Hall Saturday night.
Rosenthal, who has taken top honors on the rings in all six Penn State dual meet wins, was one of two individual winners for the Nittany Lions, who prevailed because of the balance and depth in their lineup.
Penn State also won the floor exercise and vault events, but the 60.500-57.100 margin registered by the nation’s No. 1-ranked rings unit proved to be the difference.
Backing Rosenthal’s outstanding effort were Miguel Pineda with a career-best 15.500, Parker Raque with a 14.600 and Matt Chelberg with a 14.500.
Raque also hit a career high 16.000 to win the vault.
Rosenthal, whose previous high score was 15.700, entered the meet ranked No. 2 in his specialty by GymInfo.
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MECHANICSBURG – Sophomore Mark Krchnak of Clearfield earned silver and bronze medals in individual events and gold and silver in relays for runner-up Clarion at the 53rd annual Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships that concluded Sunday in the Cumberland Valley High School pool.
After winning the 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries in a career-best 56.92 seconds Saturday, Krchnak followed up with a 57.11 in the finals but was denied a gold medal when West Chester’s Kenny McCormick touched in 56.23.
Krchnak, who transferred from Duquesne after the Pittsburgh Division I school dropped the sport last year, also set the pace in the 200 breast prelims with a personal-best 2:06.05 on Sunday. He came back with a 2:06.49 in the finals for third place. His seed time going into the event was only eighth fastest.
Krchnak’s gold medal came in Saturday’s 200 medley relay, with his 25.62 split the fastest for the breaststroke leg and gave the Golden Eagles the lead after they had been fifth when he dove into the pool. He teamed with Jon Kofmehl, Joe Welch and Joseph Ward for a 1:32.33.
The same foursome had combined for a 3:23.07 to grab second place in the 400 medley relay Friday, with Krchnak posting a 56-second split.
Krchnak also placed eighth in the 200 individual medley Friday, stopping the clock at 1:57.18 after posting a career-best 1:56.80 for sixth in the prelims.
Krchnak accounted for 44 points in his individual races and helped the two medley relay quartets contribute 74 more as Clarion accumulated 567 points in the seven-team field. West Chester won the team title with 686 points.
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GROVE CITY – Senior twins Chris and John Bodle of Clearfield qualified for the ‘B’ finals in two events to place for Westminster in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Championships at the Grove City College Pool last week.
The Titans, with 654 points, were runners-up to Grove City (948) among the six PAC teams also competing against swimmers from four other squads in the Grove City Longnecker Invitational.
In Friday’s 400-meter individual medley, the Bodles picked up nine points for the Titans as Chris placed 12th in 4:36.26 and John placed 13th in a career-best 4:38.53, almost five seconds faster than his time in the preliminaries.
Both recorded personal-bests for the 200 butterfly Saturday, Chris Bodle claiming 12th place in 2:10.33 and John Bodle taking 15th in 2:12.74.
Chris Bodle just missed the cut for the ‘B’ final in the 200 backstroke that day, his career-best 2:06.76 edged out by teammate Casey McDonald for the 16th spot in the prelims.
John Bodle finished 21st with a personal-best 1:07.39 in the 100 breaststroke prelims Friday.
Chris Bodle also swam the anchor leg for the Titan ‘B’ 400 medley relay team that posted a 3:42.45 in the prelims Thursday.
The Titans, who were 8-4 in dual meets, received word Monday they earned College Swimming Coaches Association of American Scholar All-America honors for the 2010 Fall semester, the 21st time a Westminster men’s team has qualified by registering a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0.
The Titans, who had a 3.03 team GPA, were among 40 NCAA Division III programs to be recognized.
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GROVE CITY – Sophomore Matt Shiner of Clearfield made the most of his third start for Westminster (7-18) Saturday, scoring a career-high 15 points, grabbing four rebounds and coming up with a career-high three steals as the Titans secured a berth in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Playoffs with a 66-49 win over Grove City.
Shiner, whose previous starts were at guard, was moved to forward for the game that matched 2-11 PAC rivals, and he played 31 minutes.
He broke a 13-all tie with two free throws to put the Titans ahead to stay, and his two three-pointers were Westminster’s only points in the final 6:21 of the first half.
The Titans were up 33-24 at intermission, and Shiner’s lay-up in the first minute of the second half ignited a 14-2 run that gave the visitors their biggest lead, 47-26 with 15:56 left.
As the No. 6 seed, Westminster was scheduled to visit No. 3 seed Bethany (W.Va.) in the first round.
Shiner scored seven points and also had one rebound and his first blocked shot in the Titans’ 72-69 non-conference victory over Geneva last Wednesday.
He has appeared in 21 games, averaging 12.5 minutes, and scored 86 points. In addition, he has 28 rebounds, four assists and 11 steals.
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UNIVERSITY PARK – Because of a recurring knee injury, redshirt senior 125-pounder Brad Pataky of Clearfield did not wrestle on Penn State’s home mats this season until the No. 4-ranked team’s finale against No. 16 Wisconsin Friday night.
And he delighted the standing-room-only crowd of 6,311 in Rec Hall by racking up all his points in the first two minutes to beat Tom Kelliher 10-5 and send the Nittany Lions on their way to a 30-12 win in the Big 10 Conference match.
Their 17-1-1 finish, including a 6-1-1 conference record, is Penn State’s best since the 1992-93 team was 22-0-1.
Pataky, one of four Nittany Lions honored on Senior Night but the only one in the talent-laden lineup, quickly took down the Badger and turned him twice for near falls to lead 8-0 less than a minute into the bout.
He added another near fall for two more points before Kelliher reversed and rode out the final 1:35 of the first period.
After a scoreless second period, Kelliher took the top position and rode Pataky the last two minutes, turning him once.
“You know, going out there I had a bunch of stuff running through my head,” Pataky said to Penn State GoPSUsports.com student staff writer Kelsey Detweiler. “As my last match, I actually had a little bit of emotions before going out there. I felt sad, and even after the match I felt sad, but I felt more emotional before the match than after the match for some reason. I don’t know why.”
The standing room only crowd, the second of the season and a sure sign of things to come for the rising Penn State program under head coach Cael Sanderson, had Pataky pumped up.
“Seeing all these people come out to watch us in the past two years has been incredible compared to the two years before that where half the people came out,” Pataky said to Detweiler. “You know, it was just the last match, seeing all those people, getting the adrenaline going, it’s just something you can’t express.
“It’s just a feeling that’s something I’m going to remember the rest of my life.”
Pataky’s fifth win in six matches this season gave him a career record of 48-12 for dual meets.
Now 82-32 for his four seasons with the Nittany Lions, Pataky will take an 8-3 record into the Big 10 Championships March 5-6 at Northwestern.
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LOCK HAVEN – Redshirt senior Derek Caldwell of Curwensville certainly made his farewell appearance in Thomas Fieldhouse a match to remember Sunday afternoon.
With the Bald Eagles leading Clarion 18-10, coach Robbie Waller opted to go with Caldwell in the 184-pound bout rather keep him at 197, where he’s wrestled most of the season after being unable to crack the lineup at 174.
Caldwell responded by pinning Scott Joseph in just 1:24 to clinch the Eastern Wrestling League victory on Senior Day.
His pin loomed even larger when Clarion wrestlers registered a fall and decision in the last two bouts to set the final score at 24-19.
“It really came to a judgment call at 184,” Waller told Lock Haven Express sports writer Bill Albright. “Derek had pinned that guy earlier in the year, so we (the LHU coaches) thought that maybe he could do it again and he did it. What a win it was for him.”
Albright noted that Caldwell already had earned his degree but decided to return for another season with the Bald Eagles.
“Derek had an opportunity to take a coaching job last spring, but he turned it down to come back and wrestle,” Waller said to Albright. “We are really grateful that he did, and someday, he is going to make someone a lot of money in business just because of the individual he is.”
In response to Albright’s question about what the all-important win meant to him, Caldwell said, “I am not sure because I don’t think it has sunk in yet as to what it actually meant to kind of put the icing on the cake in the dual meet. The atmosphere and everything about today was great.
“The craziest part of it all is that I could hear everything that was going on around me. This was my first home dual meet win of the season, and to be able to go out on a positive note for everyone who supported us and myself over the year, it just made it a great experience.”
Caldwell, who had pinned Joseph at the 6:49 mark in a Body Bar Invitational consolation round match back in November, wound up 3-9 in dual meets and 5-13 overall.
Lock Haven closed the regular season 6-12 with a 2-4 EWL record.
Next up for the Bald Eagles are the EWL Championships on March 6.
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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Senior shortstop Adam Jury of Bigler and his Slippery Rock teammates got off to a great start to the 2011 season with a four-game weekend sweep against St. Joseph’s (Ind.) and Tiffin (Ohio) in VA Stadium.
The Clearfield Area High School graduate, hitting in the clean-up spot, swung the bat at a .438 clip and handled 16 chances flawlessly as The Rock defeated St. Joseph’s 8-3 and Tiffin 9-5 Saturday and St. Joseph’s 9-8 and Tiffin 5-4 Sunday.
Jury collected seven hits, including a solo home run, and drove in five runs, including two in each of the wins over Tiffin.
The 6-1, 200-pounder is second on the team in both stats and leads The Rock in assists with 10 and double plays with four.
Jury is one of seven returning starters for the Green and White, ranked No. 6 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and No. 31 by the American Baseball Coaches Association in preseason polls and pegged by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division coaches to finish second behind defending champion California.
In his first three seasons, Jury compiled 128 hits for a .357 batting average with 84 runs batted in, all but nine of his 112 games as a starter on the left side of the infield.
He belted six home runs, 10 triples and 13 doubles.
Last summer, Jury played for the Butler Blue Sox in The Prospect League, a college wood bat circuit.
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PITTSBURGH – Redshirt junior quarterback Andrew Janocko of Clearfield is one of three 2010 Pitt players named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team for the third year in a row.
To qualify, student-athletes must have posted a cumulative grade-point average or 3.0 or better and completed a minimum of two semesters of academic work.
Janocko, a history major who earned his degree in three years, presently attending the School of Education and working towards a Master’s degree in instructional learning.
Janocko earned three letters as the holder on Pitt’s extra point and field goal units.
In all, 17 Panthers were honored, with redshirt junior fullback Henry Hynoski (Elysburg/Southern Columbia Area High School) and redshirt junior defensive lineman Miles Caragein (Pittsburgh/Keystone Oaks) the others recognized for the third time.